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Album Review: Dream State – Primrose Path


Dream State, formed in 2014, have been one of my favourite bands for just over a year now. I was introduced to their music by someone with very similar taste to me, and immediately fell in love with their style, emotion and composition.

Today, ahead of their European tour, the Welsh quartet released their first album “Primrose Path”, which has a common theme of mental health and love running throughout. The band have spent roughly the last month talking about the album, releasing videos, and even bringing out the fourth single on the album “Twenty Letters” on Annie Mac’s show on BBC Radio One!

First on the highly anticipated album is “Made up Smile”. This song perfectly sets up the album, starting with ticking clocks, a beautiful melody, and CJ’s vocals. In the song, CJ talks about how she wants to be happy, as she says in the chorus “I don’t want to pretend I’m fine”. She also questions in the song “what is real anymore?”. These lyrics, accompanied by Aled and Rhys’ guitar playing, and Jamie’s drumming, make the track thoroughly enjoyable, and, honestly, made me start headbanging (side note- this might not be the best idea stood by myself waiting for a bus).

The next track on the album is “Are You Ready To Live?”, which quickly changed from calm, to heavy; I love it! This song is relatively positive and talks about how sometimes, we have to help ourselves. In the chorus, CJ sings (or should I say, screams) “we’ll fight our way to the end”, personally making me feel included, and supported. She also says near the end pf the song “you’ve got to pull yourself together, cause the hard times aren’t forever”. Goosebumps? Yes. Feeling extremely supported? Also yes.

The next song is a song that was actually released in March. The song is called “Hand In Hand”. The song’s main theme is helping people together. In the third verse, CJ says “I’ll be there when you’ve done on the other side”, again, implementing the fact that this band wants to support their fans. CJ later says in the song “strength comes from adversity, it all starts with you and me”. A strong, loving band? Definitely.

Track four on the album is “Open Windows”, also released previously (August). This song also focuses on mental health and how people can’t always get help, and how that can hurt really badly. In the first verse, CJ says “’Unless you can afford it, then we cant help you" she said, which links into this idea. She also says in the song “it’s madness cured by madness”, which I agree with, in all honesty. In the chorus, she says “we gotta bite the hand that feeds the fear”. I really like this song, as it’s not too heavy…but definitely enough to mosh to!

Track five is “Twenty Letters” which was released earlier this month. In the first verse, CJ says “this life is like a riddle”, which further implements the idea of mental health, and how it affects people. In the chorus, she sings “they’re never gonna pull me apart, I’m already undone” which basically shows how people can’t hurt you if you’re already hurt. This song means a lot to me, and I think that this would be a great song to be in their setlist.

Track six is “Spitting Lies” starts off by CJ saying “I can’t define myself, I’m questioning who I really am”, which implies that she’s been thinking about herself pretty deeply, as she can’t decide what’s going on properly. In the chorus, she says “closer to death than I’ve ever been” which signifies how bad mental health can be for people. I think that this song, in particular, shows how strong CJ is, mentally, as she’s open to singing about experiences (whether they are personal to her or not) which takes a lot of courage to do.

The seventh song on the album is “Out of the Blue”. Rhys accompanies CJ singing on this track; their voices are incredible together. A lyric that pops out to me in this song is “Can you hold my heart? Please, keep it safe” which, to me, shows trust and love. Another lyric that pops out to me in this song is “this life was never meant to be this way” which shows how she wishes things had gone differently. I think that this is a really good song; strong, somewhat heavy, and emotional, all rolled into one song.

The eighth song is “Chapters”, which is probably the most peaceful song on the album. Rhys opens this song (and sings the majority of it), with a calming melody playing in the background. He says “I’ve brought you shame so many times now, I don’t know if you’ll ever see me the same way again” which shows how he misses someone, and how he regrets what he did. This, to me, is quite a meaningful song; maybe that’s because Rhys sings mainly n this track, maybe it’s the lyrics.

Track nine is “Primrose”, a song that was released in July. I’ve listened to this song and watched the video at least a hundred times since it came out. The beat of this song, accompanied by the amount of raw emotion in CJ’s voice makes this one of my favourite songs on the album. A lyric that always catches me out is “why do I keep falling back on myself”, maybe because of the power behind CJ’s voice when she screams it, maybe it’s the beat leading up to it, but I always love this lyric.

The last track of the album is “I Feel It Too”. When I first heard this song, I couldn’t help but cry near the end. This song contains so many emotions, alongside an amazing beat. In the chorus, CJ says “I think I have to let you go”, which shows how she doesn’t want to get rid of the people in her life, but she has to, for her own wellbeing. The most emotional part of the song, to me, is when the beat becomes calmer, and CJ just talks. When she says “I know it’s not easy”, it felt like she was talking to me personally, again showing their support. The pure emotion in her voice when she says “Please, I love you, I love you.” was the part that made me cry when I heard it. I really like how the beat comes back in heavy afterwards.

Check out the album, and let us know what your favourite song is, and if you’re seeing them in Europe!

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Danielle Collis